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HOORAY!!! US 89 Up & Running

HOORAY!!! US 89 Up & Running
March 28
07:30 2015
89 Steve Monroe

ADOT Project Manager Steve Monroe

By Mike Reilley 

There was excitement in the air Friday afternoon when, at about 4:15, two Page school buses wound their way down the portion of US 89 that had been closed for over two years.

Once those two buses went through, with the school kids yelling and waving through the open windows of the buses, then it was like a dam had burst. Car after car, pickup after pickup, came roaring through, honking, waving and yelling their thanks to the ADOT workers at the side of the road.

When asked about what was done to restore the road, ADOT project manager, Steve Monroe, quipped with the media, “We fixed the landslide. It’s all fixed now; all better.”

In seriousness, Monroe said it is so very gratifying to be finished.

“This has been a very big deal for our district and this area in general,” said Monroe.

He said the work on Navajo-20 (89-T) was a project in itself, “unlike any other we’d ever done before.”

He said the same thing goes for the landslide area; unlike anything ADOT has done before. Monroe said they were always aware that the people of Marble Canyon, Bitter Springs and other communities had been completely cut-off from Page and beyond.

89 What it looked like

What 89 looked like February 2013

“It’s pretty gratifying that we can re-connect those who have been cut-off for so long,” he said. “N-20 helped ninety percent of the people, but not the people here.”

He said this while pointing downward toward Bitter Springs.

When asked, the project manager said there was a lot of luck involved that no one got hurt when the landslide occurred in February 2013.

“It could have been catastrophic for somebody,” he said. “So, yeah, we were incredibly lucky that it happened when it did (when there was no traffic).”

The event occurred two years ago because, according to geologists, “It was the re-activation of an ancient landslide.” And no one had a clue it would happen.

89 On Top O'mountain

Even way up high there was excitement

But according to ADOT spokesman, Dustin Krugel, they’re not taking any chances. He told us that ADOT has installed equipment at the site of the landslide that will keep tabs on any seismic activity in the area. The idea is that they’ll have prior notice of activity in the unlikely event that a landslide might occur again.

When the two buses rolled through the smoothly paved roadway, cheers could also be heard from atop the mountain to the east. Way up there could be seen local residents, thrilled with the re-opening of 89.

 

 

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